Texters show no sign of rust, manhandle Batang Pier for fifth straight win
April 21, 2017
After mere escape acts in their last three games, TNT KaTropa finally got into a real good rhythm and pulled off a convincing 109-88 conquest of GlobalPort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night. Except for a brief poor stretch in the second quarter, the Texters played steadily every inch of the way as they rolled past the Batang Pier to close in on unbeaten frontrunner San Miguel Beer (4-0) and second-running Meralco (6-1). They sport a 5-1 record as they play the Barangay Ginebra Kings Sunday before heading to the All-Star Week break. Dontee Greene and five TNT locals submitted double-digit numbers as they sent the Batang Pier reeling with a fifth loss against a lone win. Greene erupted for 33 points and 10 rebounds, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier and RR Pogoy contributed at least 10 points each while Kelly Williams came through with 10 rebounds as they pummeled a GlobalPort side practically carried by just four players in Malcolm White, Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle and JR Quinahan. The Texters had a good showing coming from a long respite. “We’re able to take advantage of the long break. That’s what the conference gave us. We’re able to have really good practices in 10 days. That really helped us,” said TNT coach Nash Racela. “We talked things that we needed to improve on offense and defense. We had a pretty decent defense tonight and we did shot well,” Racela added. In their first game in 11 days, the Texters put on a good display of torrid shooting and solid defense in a big improvement from their last three games where they barely got past Blackwater (92-89), NLEX (126-121 in overtime) and Mahindra (86-84). TNT got into the win-column earlier on a 134-109 demolition of Phoenix. The Texters proved well prepared as they jumped the gun on the Batang Pier, ended the half with a seven-point lead then utterly dominated the final half. TNT started and finished strong to take the opening half at 56-49. The Texters opened the game with an 18-5 salvo and closed the half with nine unanswered points from a 47-49 count. An impeccable first half had the Texters limiting themselves to five errors. And that gave them a decisive 20-8 advantage on points off turnovers. They then came out firing in the third and sustained a hot charge to the finish.